From toddlers to old men, everyone experiences anger from time to time. But taken too far, anger can make existing addictions worse – and even become a drug of its own. It can be used to avoid other issues, emotions and experiences – like the abuse of alcohol. The difference is using anger in this way is a ‘skill’ that people develop over decades of practice. If this form of anger goes unaddressed, it can be detrimental to your mental health and your relationships.
Have family members or others mentioned concerns about your alcohol consumption? Did you recently experience an incident that stemmed from your alcohol-related aggression? These situations likely spark emotions when you think about them — perhaps you feel embarrassed or ashamed. There are several risk factors, all of which impact people differently. Drinking may also be a method to self-medicate negative emotions, including anger. Alcohol is a depressant substance, meaning that it helps to suppress some of the “fight-or-flight” stress reactions that anger can induce.
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The classes also guide the individual in creating a relapse prevention strategy. The individual will be closely monitored by trained detox professionals throughout the detox phase, and as withdrawal symptoms intensify will administer necessary medications. Alcohol, which is classified as a depressant, targets GABA receptors in the brain.
They may have poor coping skills for anger control whether or not they are drinking. When someone battles AUD, they are also less likely to consistently take care of regular obligations, which can impact interpersonal relationships and their home environment. These issues can then lead to more anger and further difficulty controlling emotions and outbursts. In addition to potential mental health disorders related to difficulties managing anger, there are several physical side effects of unchecked and chronic anger. This activates the stress response, which speeds up heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure, and increases body temperature.
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Sometimes those decisions are relatively innocent, like sending a mildly inappropriate text message. As we’ve discussed, when your behavior skews toward violence and anger, your drunken behavior will be even more extreme. But what happens if you start pushing to those extremes without even drinking? “Dry drunkenness” is a similar, yet completely different type of problem.
One of the topics usually revolves around emotion regulation and anger management. An individual who, when in his or her alcohol addiction, was prone to angry outbursts or rages may have had existing anger management issues or an explosive personality. In recovery, it is important to address that propensity towards violence and learn effective coping skills that help change the tendency toward anger. When it comes to the relationship between spouses, alcohol alcoholic rage syndrome can provoke aggressive or violent behavior toward the spouse, especially in couples where both partners struggle with alcohol use disorder. The combination of alcohol abuse and poor emotional regulation can result in domestic violence, in which a spouse physically or sexually assaults their partner. A comprehensive couples rehabilitation program may help the partners achieve sobriety together and participate in aftercare activities together following rehab.
Why Am I an Angry Drunk?
They can learn to recognize potential triggers and how to safely manage them. Some people are more prone to trouble controlling their anger while drinking than others. People who are more focused on the present than the future are more likely to become angry and aggressive under the influence of alcohol, for example, Science Daily publishes.
Among the many studied physiological and behavioral effects of alcohol is disinhibition, or reduced control over impulses or urges after intoxication. Disinhibition can make you unable to suppress or change an act of aggression that is not appropriate for the situation you’re in. Alcohol can provoke different emotional responses for different people. If you have a natural tendency to be angry, drinking alcohol may cause you to become aggressive. Psychotherapy is the core treatment element in most alcohol rehab programs. Therapy sessions will be offered in both one-on-one and small group formats.
Typical Risk Factors for Alcohol-Related Aggression
The damage done to the mental health of loved ones of alcoholics due to misplaced anger is significant. Some are quite docile, drinking alone until they pass out, meaning no harm to anyone. But those who have a hard time controlling anger when sober can be triggered after a few drinks.
It’s essential to find new healthy habits that fuel your soul and give you a new purpose. Someone who experiences passive anger may appear calm and have difficulty expressing their feelings. From Table 2, the mean scores of Anger expression out, anger expression in, anger expression outside, and anger control inside among the two groups and they are not statistically significant.
Explosive eruptions occur suddenly, with little or no warning, and usually last less than 30 minutes. These episodes may occur frequently or be separated by weeks or months of nonaggression. Less severe verbal outbursts may occur in between episodes of physical aggression. You may be irritable, impulsive, aggressive or chronically angry most of the time. When you talk to a member of the Nugent Family Counseling Center team, you can count on compassion and honesty. Anger management treatment with our specialists is designed to help you control your feelings of anger.
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- People who have lower-than-normal levels of serotonin tend to be more violent.
- In general, expressing appropriate emotions is a skill that addicts struggle with early in their recovery.
- But what happens if you start pushing to those extremes without even drinking?
As we’ve discussed, simply acknowledging and allowing room for anger to be understood and addressed is the best way to move on from it.